The Princess Diana Institute of Peace, A Think Tank on Post-Conflict, Economic and Gender issues has awarded Gods Own Children, a Sri Lankan NGO based in the war-ravaged Jaffna Peninsula, in the Northern part of Sri Lanka , a Merit Award for its Management Excellence.
Gods Own Children has managed to obtain the support from the European Union and like minded people and institutions in Canada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand to mobilise resources for the benefit of disadvantaged children in the Jaffna Peninsula under the Chairmanship of Dr. B. Anandkumar, Justice of the Peace and the guidance of its directors , Mrs. Anne
Mary Jecintha Anton (Director / Principal) and Mrs. Saratha Punniyamoorthi (Director – Administration)
The origins of Gods Own Children Foundation dates back to March 2003. After the now defunct cease fire agreement was inked, which paved the way to a reasonable level of normalcy in the Jaffna Peninsula,at that time a private fee levying school, namely , British Business College (Pvt) Ltd, an Education and, Training company from Colombo, established a school in the Jaffna Peninsula, which conducted Early Childhood Programs and Primary Education both in the English and Tamil mediums. This was the first private school in the Jaffna Peninsula to conduct such educational programs, charging nominal fees.
Due to the war, the standard of education in the Jaffna Peninsula had deteriorated drastically, and thus, this initiative which introduced badly needed inputs such as, Trained English Language Teachers, Modern Curriculum and Teaching Methods and Investment from outside was welcomed and appreciated by the Jaffna population.
However, the Management of the School had to cope with some major problems during the course of time. There were some intellectually and physically disabled children and children suffering from trauma, who were admitted to the schools, and their inclusion was detested by the parents of the other children.
Most parents of other intellectually and physically disabled children and children suffering from trauma could not admit their children to the schools since they could not afford, even the nominal fee being charged.
Soon, another disaster struck the Jaffna Peninsula in the form of the Asian Tsunami on Boxing Day in 2004, which left scores of orphans and traumatized children amidst destruction to life and property. This disaster occurred not long after the cruel war which had just ended, which itself had produced severely traumatized children.
As a result of all the above, volunteers from the Management and Staff of British Business College, and from the General Public, formed an action committee which deliberated over a period of time, and finally decided to establish a Non-Profit Foundation to operate non fee levying Special Needs Schools in the Jaffna peninsula.
Thus, on 24th August 2005, the Gods Own Children Foundation was established as a Non-Profit organization to serve the disadvantaged children of this severely affected region. The special needs schools accommodate a wide range of disadvantaged children including intellectually and physically disabled children and slow learners who have never been to school due to poverty and the war.
Well focussed objectives , strict discipline among staff and volunteers , caring , dedicated and committed staff , transparent and well organised fund raising campaigns and a clear vision and purpose were some of the factors which were considered by the Princess Diana Institute of Peace for this Award for Management Excellence.
Source : PR Inside.com